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(Topic ID: 217394)

The Munsters Hype (Because every evening its Halloween)


By Macca101010

2 years ago



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Post #550 Munsters Premium and LE cabinet art Posted by pinsanity (2 years ago)

Post #8004 0.96 Code change summary Posted by PanzerFreak (1 year ago)


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#2760 1 year ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

Amen to all of that! Been working on my IMDN tonight as well. My mummy ball is sticking and like an idiot i boogered up the switch closest to it on the sarcophagus lock so now looks like i may have to pull the sarcophagus out to put a new switch in. Pretty sure this is going to be a major pain in the ass. My fault but if the newton balls wasnt shitty i wouldnt have been messing with it in the first place. The Newton balls need to be redesigned and Stern should ship out two of them to every Premium and LE owner out there! Absolutely horrible design and they fuckin knew it and shipped the games out anyway. Im a big supporter of Stern but that pisses me off big time.

Amen to that as well! If lightly used HUO games require so much fiddling, I can't imagine what operators are dealing with (though most of them are likely buying pro's I guess). Pinball almost died because operators had a hard time justifying maintenance costs...you'd think that Stern might remember this? JJP gave a lot of lip service to build quality/reliability when they were founded, and not sure they did much better in this regard. Sure, new lighting tech has helped I guess, but these "modern" machines don't seem easier to maintain than games built in the 90's.

snaroff

#2768 1 year ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

We arent talking about tweaking though. We are talking about a design that is just horrible. Anyone that buys a Premium with more features can expect more tweaking yes, but should Premium owners also expect and accept poorly designed mechs? I dont think so.

Little off topic, but I had the hood open on my SWLE and was amazed by the design/engineering that went into the hyperdrive mechanism. I know SW is a controversial game, however I believe the hyperdrive might be the coolest Premium mech that Stern has ever developed. When 3 balls are swirling around in the hyperdrive, it's an amazing experience. Contrast this with the IMDN Premium mechs that are simple, add minimal value and are poorly designed. As you've said, wouldn't it be great if Stern could redesign and offer replacements. I'm not holding my breath...

snaroff

#2817 1 year ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

Yesh my game came with the pointed studs actually. The problem I'm having now is the mummy newton ball when hit wont go back to its original resting position. Im gonna take it apart and clean it and look at it and see why its catching but they are sending me a new one also. I know some people are polishing them out real smooth to make them work better. Im sure that i can fix it probably.

I had this problem as well. For me, it was fixed by loosening part "9" in the diagram (so the spring has a bit more room). I didn't have to remove or polish it to fix the problem.

snaroff

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#2853 1 year ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

Beatles is a game targeted not to the main pinball market.
For it to Switch places an CES with Munsters is a great move so all these 'normal' People can make themselfes some overpriced Christmas gift wihle the main pinball buyers will buy their cornerstone Munsters game anyway, at any time.

Don't know how you define the "main pinball market". Anyone that really loves pinball appreciates games from all era's. I love my 80's lineup (Paragon/Centaur/Fathom) and The Beatles is a modern spin on this era pinball. Since none of us know Stern's margins, it's impossible to speculate on what titles are "over priced". One thing is certain, NIB pinball games are expensive and The Beatles is in the sweet spot of what folks have been paying (5-10k). Any pinballer that thumbs his/her nose at The Beatles because it doesn't have "ramps" is missing out! Many of us welcome the change to the Stern's usual formula...

snaroff

#2873 1 year ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

We kinda do, but it doesn't matter anyway.
The customer cares for what the customer has to pay, and if you get basically the same game for 8500$ (Gold) or ~25000$ (Diamond) that last one is definately overpriced.
And each one is stil way more expensive then a Stern Pro, so Beatles definately makes for the "more expensive" Christmas gift (or a Thing that you most likely better sell on Christmas then on any other date).

Diamonds are sold to speculators or stupid folks or folks with stupid money (Supreme being auctioned for 70k on eBay!)

My comments were wrt Gold, which I picked up NIB for much less than 8500! The Gold is somewhere between a Pro and a Premium (very well-done armor, side-art, speaker trim, spinning disk). Just because it doesn't have "ramps" doesn't automatically make it a Pro.

snaroff

#2877 1 year ago
Quoted from kermit24:

What was the last Borg Premium / LE model that was a must buy over the Pro?

TRON LE, which preceded the Pro/Premium/LE leveling. Sure, over the years, Pro's can be modded to approach an LE, however nothing like a TRON LE. I own both a heavily modded Pro and LE...so I speak from experience

TRON LE is one of the best game Stern ever made. I just acquired mine recently, waited on the sidelines for many years. My Pro gets more play than all my games, so I decided to take the plunge. A long list of differences from the Pro...

1 - Daft Punk Multiball
2 - Silver around PF inserts
3 - Drop targets instead of standups
4 - Moving Recognizer
5 - Color changing lighted ramps
6 - LED insert PCBs
7 - Alternating color flashers under the spinner
8 - Individually controlled recognizer inserts in front of the 3 target
9 - Chrome trim
10 - Metal apron with clear blue windows w/ flashers
11 - Metal PF rails
12 - Traditional lockdown bar and receiver
13 - LE numbered plaque on back box and signed certificate of authenticity
14 - Hologram sticker on translite

If Stern gave Borg/team the time, I'm hopeful the Premium/LE will rock. On many of Borg's games, the Pro's are great (MET/AS/KISS).

snaroff

#2891 1 year ago
Quoted from kermit24:

Awesome. Can't wait to see this thing and play it. I was so excited for Star Wars that I reserved an LE before announcement, canceled my LE order, bought a Pro while I was waiting for my Premium to ship. Is that rational or the "smart" thing to do? Hell no! But I had a blast playing my Pro and love SW Premium.
The folks that buy games right away are actually pretty important because they get the games into circulation quickly. We all have friends that buy most everything and sometimes sell quickly, not because the game is bad, just how they rotate. I think its cool when you have options and can go NIB or used secondary very shortly after release.

I never use to buy early before playing, but if you love the theme, it's not irrational (especially if it's a strong license, like Munsters/Beatles/StarWars).

I also think owning a pinball is like owning a mattress from this perspective: it's impossible to know if you are going to like a mattress until sleeping on it for days/months. Games are also hard to fully evaluate until you've owned them for awhile. My initial reaction to Aerosmith was "meh", however the game has grown on me. I find this happens with many games...particularly the newer ones (that often ship with half-baked code). Star Wars also takes awhile to "love" and plays crappy in a public arcade (since it's impossible to hear all the audible cues).

snaroff

#2897 1 year ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

I hope ur being sarcastic. The matress/pin anaolgy?

I love my analogy Are you able to properly assess a pin after playing it for 10-15 minutes? Not me. That's the point of the analogy (in case it wasn't obvious). Unless the pin is a total dog, the financial downside of the "in home trial" isn't huge...and besides, it's a great way to rationalize irrational pin purchase behavior

snaroff

#3005 1 year ago
Quoted from DJNOEL30:

Your absolutely right, I've been sucked in to the hype of these new release themes to the point where fatigue has set in. I have constantly got sucked in by hype with nothing ever done on time, shit communication via distributor or manufacture and a slow drip when it comes to code improvements. That's why I went with MBr because the wait is reasonable and I know out of the gate I'm not going to have any code issues with a game that is already completed. My last hype roller coaster will be ACNC #97 after that comes in I am done riding hype trains. I've managed to accumulate just enough knowledge of this hobby to be dangerous to myself and I am going to wait on future releases until I am satisfied with the game being as completed as possible before making a purchase. I don't think the LE scarcity game we see get played out here will hold water anymore. Just MHO..

The assumption that remakes don't have their own "rollercoaster" put a smile on my face. Last year, my AFMrLE was down for many weeks and unplayable over the holidays (blew 2 boards). Distributor took the game back. This fiasco kicked off the big rework of one of the chips (which they sent out to existing owners).

The decision to purchase an "old game" like MBr because the software was finished decades ago is certainly one way to go! For many of us who have owned the originals, I guess we are bored with decades old software and like playing new rule sets (even if it takes awhile to finish them). For good or bad, many of the games are MUCH more complicated than AFM/MB, so sometimes it takes longer than anticipated (SW is a standout among complex rulesets). I wasn't happy with the state of my KISS Premium software, but Stern recently released a great update and the game rocks. I love the way the game shoots and license, so waiting for the update wasn't that big a deal.

I was ready to ride the ACNC roller coaster until I saw the reveal and decided it wasn't for me.

snaroff

2 weeks later
#4528 1 year ago
Quoted from PoppyCock:

I think stern blew it with the premium, I mean they were on the right path with the whole black and white thing but its just to black and white. Its going to get dull in a collection full of color, they should have left the playfield in color or maybe scattered more color into it. I think the premium look will get old fast but I get what they were trying to do.

Falst...Stern definitely didn't blow it.

I think the Premium PF/Cabinet/translite are perfect (and they will probably be more stunning in person). I love that Stern took a gamble on this. Creating more differentiation between the Premium & LE makes sense.

My Centaur is still stunning after all these years, so I'm not worried at all about the Premium getting "old fast". B/W fits great with the theme and will standout in any collection.

#4558 1 year ago
Quoted from Sinestro:

The lower playfield is literally the only mechinal difference between a Pro and Premium. No compromises on spinners, lighting, or other mechs. A very solid Pro.
That being said, the lower playfield and the black and white put the Premium over the top for me personally. Those that hate lower playfields will be very happy with the Pro.

I was signed up for a Premium (with delivery end of February). Still prefer the Premium artwork, but I decided to go-Pro (with much earlier delivery). With the lower PF being the only difference, gives me an opportunity to see if I love the game. If so, can upgrade to a Premium down the road. To be honest, I'm usually not a big fan of lower/upper PF's (with WH20 being a notable exception). When I play my AC/DC, I go out of my way to avoid hell I've also found that Borg Pro's are usually very well done (when compared with other designers).

#4715 1 year ago
Quoted from pinmister:

You do not know how much I want to like JJP games. They are beautiful to look at, but still do nothing for me. I love the layout on Dialed In, really fun to play. It just does nothing for me with theme, and after 20 plays-I got bored. WOZ-again beautiful game and great to look at, but it has way too much going on and feels clunky to me with all the stop and go. It is a journey game and takes a 30 minute+ game to progress significantly. POTC is hit and miss for me. One day I like it and the next day I don't. I love the theme and the layout is growing on me. Not sure if I like the ship or hate it? For the price of POTC-it definitely has me considering several other titles first.
Right now in terms of creativity and originality I have Oktoberfest on my slightly interested list. Watching closely to see if it will be a good game. I thought Houdini was going to be awesome-and we all know where that ended up.

I feel similarly, but decided to purchase DILE and couldn't be happier. The layout/flow rock, and the theme grew on me. The virtual targets that pop-up in the theatre are very cool. Big bang/SIM card shots are unique. You can tell this game wasn't rushed. Surprised you got bored...it's a really challenging game when dialed in.

#4730 1 year ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

i love love love that black and white on the Premium but im just not feeling that lower playfield with the miniature pinballs. I wouldnt mind it if it was hardly ever used but the rules have it being used quite frequently. I have a feeling that it will become dreadful rather than fun after while. I like the design of it but i just dont think its something that i want to be playing very often. Dwight should have programmed it for something very special rather than something that is frequently used. Right now im thinking pro is going to have the funnest gameplay. I hope i can play both and the Premium wins me over but i dint think that will happen honestly.

You nailed exactly how I feel. I switched my Premium order to a Pro yesterday. Some folks think having 4 flipper buttons to flip both PF's simultaneously is fun/cool, however I can't imagine that working out well. If I'm wrong, and the lower PF is a blast, I'll update from Pro=>Premium. Also like that I'll have the game in 2-3 weeks...

#4776 1 year ago

What makes the mini PF boring for me is the mini balls&flippers, cramped feel of all the shots and location of it (identical to AC/DC).

It would be SO COOL to have a larger lower PF levitate to the main PF level (so you could eliminate the mini flippers and simply reuse the standard flippers). If you "stretch" the Munsters PF close to the flippers and relocate the inserts down below, you'd have a large area to do some interesting flipping

Sounds like a killer feature...like the Boom Balloon on steroids

#4788 1 year ago
Quoted from John_I:

Good God I hate when people start saying this game is the same as that game, etc, etc. Here's one for you: this game uses steel balls and has four legs and a plunger. Oh my god the humanity.
This game is a breath of fresh air in many ways and a few negative Nancy's have to drag us down.

And I'm sure many of the layout NN's own AFMr and swear by it

Some of the most beloved games are compelling because the sum is greater than the parts.

This pin looks like the total package...theme integration looks stunning.

#4813 1 year ago
Quoted from Amused_to_Death:

Am I the only one who wishes Stern would put the plates somewhere else? They make the speaker and LCD display area look off-balanced and are quite distracting if you’re OCD about that sort of thing. Yeah, I know what table it is, thank you very much.
Maybe put it down somewhere with the instructions, cost to play, etc. Or on the lower cabinet front. I guess I really don’t see the need at all. Serial numbers for the LEs are one thing, but the plate doesn’t serve any purpose on the Premium or Pro.
I own all sorts of Limited Edition collectibles. Literally none have a number staring at me. On the bottom, on the back, on a certificate, sure.
It just seems like Stern is adding more clutter for the sake of adding more clutter.

Stern should copy what they did for Beatles...it looks great.

Beatles-3Playfields (resized).jpeg
#4816 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

I think the yellow paper and large pricing lettering is for routes - to stand out and be uncluttered/easy to read. Even with that, people are dumb and have a hard time finding the cost of the game.

Sure, but so many games are being sold for the home, it would be great if Stern followed JJP's lead and removed all clutter from aprons. Love the way my DILE has nothing but artwork that compliments the game. The overlays for pricing/instructions are optional.

#4886 1 year ago

With the exception of TRON, LE's are almost all BS. The LE artwork is rarely nicer and they rarely go up in value. The Stern LE's I've owned were purchased at a nice discount from collectors. The only big win is getting the fullest featured game 1 month before the Premium...

#5216 1 year ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Given the history of doing just that there's really no reason to say it, or for anyone to believe it.
And FWIW I think it's fine. Making a new color Premium later isn't shady, it wasn't some limited promised thing. Make a new Monsters Metallica. Make Luci. Do a fishtank Walking Dead. Vault release the machine I'm trying to sell and tank the value we aren't owed anything as long as there wasn't an implied promise otherwise.

So much hypocrisy, since I'm sure many of the upset folks are remake lovers (which caused my HEP AFM value to plummet by 3-5k

While that's a bummer for me, it's very cool that folks can enjoy AFM without going through a long, painful, costly restoration. Good for the pinball community, bad for the high-end collectors...oh well. Still not a fan of the way the remakes play (when compared with HEP originals), but the games are a welcome addition to the community starved for some of the old/popular classics.

#5246 1 year ago

The truly absurd part of this thread is LE's are making Stern richer, not customers! (independent of how many they produce).

The notion that "limited" translates into customers making money (or losing less money) is imaginary.

As a Stern NIB customer since 2004, I'd love to see 2 versions, Pro and Premium...no hard limits on either.

#5292 1 year ago
Quoted from pinballcorpse:

I’d prefer to go back to the days of one version of the game. Either you were in or out. No multiple versions of art, hardware, rules or pricing tiers. Game has a problem: one fix to concentrate on.
If they had released Munsters in whatever art version of the 3 depicted games, or included whatever features, lower playfield or not, it would have sold. Nobody could complain about it missing something or having too much of something.
There would be nothing to cross-compare. Here it is, take it or leave it, rather than playing Garanimals trying to mix and match features.
But those days are seemingly long gone.
Nonetheless, looking forward to trying this game.

I totally agree...was trying not to be too radical Kidding aside, while I agree with you, I can make sense out of a Pro/Premium leveling/pricing. Since public pinball has experienced a resurgence, it makes sense to have low(er) cost version of a game for operators (and a Premium for home players/collectors looking for more features). In other words, the models reflect the market. From my perspective, the LE market is largely imagined. Nothing limited about my Dialed In LE...plenty of them to go around. Same will be true for Munsters...whether it's 500 or 600.

#5314 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

It's literally the reason Stern can stay in business. Instant sales at an inflated price up front from wealthy pin maniacs who've never played it. You cannot get those sales without an LE concept. Without LE, people can just wait. When people wait, nothing is on the line. If nothing's on the line, you're wasting money. Those first sales are out of the way & most likely cover all production costs...so all Pro and Prem sales after that are pure profit. If the game is a bomb and post-LE sales aren't great - they're onto the next game & still selling the other games that are in production. Love it or hate it, it's precisely why we still have Stern Pinball.

Sorry Greg, I don't buy that without LE's, we wouldn't have Stern pinball. I'm sure it helps the bottom line, but the idea that we'd all be waiting on the sidelines isn't my experience. I've bought plenty of Premiums out of the gate. If Stern front-loaded Premiums, I don't think the initial burst of sales would suffer dramatically. Sure, the margins are lower, but there is still plenty of profit in a Premium.

#5341 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Sure some people might buy Premiums at launch, but there's no incentive. Easy to say "I'll wait and see". The second word gets out that a game sucks or has issues or bad code, Prem/Pro sales stall....but you'll always have people who have to get the LE if the number is low enough...and those people will pay a super high price without a care.

You, my friend are great at the "wait and see". Most of us aren't...and there are plenty of us

No doubt LE sales spice things up for Stern & it's distributors, but you were claiming Stern wouldn't exist without LE's.

#5407 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

That IS cheap and ruins the game. Happened to me on SW. Poor design and/or build standards. IM’s magnet causing a drain is different. That’s based on the risk you take by hitting Monger straight on. Monger “attacking” back is a feature. A scoop kicking down the drain is a defect.

It's a build issue. I have an SWLE and the fix is trivial (unlike fixes to IMDN which are difficult and often ephemeral). The build quality of SW is very solid otherwise. The only design issue I have is the left outlane is unusually brutal (audits confirm this)...kind of like the right outlane on STTNG (must be a Ritchie signature "feature").

#5408 1 year ago
Quoted from NeilMcRae:

but of course many people think games like IMDN and TWD are too hard, so you can't please all of the people all of the time!

I find IMDN ball times to be very long. For me, it's one of the easiest Stern games in years (where easy is defined by length of play, not completing ever mode or reaching the ultimate wizard mode). Don't have an opinion on TWD...not enough games played.

#5431 1 year ago
Quoted from jfh:

Pro:
- all that’s missing is the lower PF and two sign boards above the ramps. Certainly a full-featured Pro compared to some recent titles.

The sign boards above the ramps seem more like a compromise than a "feature". The Pro has PF inserts that represent the sign lights (the Premium inserts were removed to make space for the lower PF).

#5489 1 year ago
Quoted from Ive:

Totally agree.
Played the Pro and the Premium yesterday at EAG Trade Show in London.
Underwhelmed to say the least. Main playfield is just a tired fan layout with little of interest. I don't know how people are saying this is loaded The lower playfield is Stewie 2.0 but oddly less fun despite having 2 balls. Those HUGE side targets are just ridiculous.
I love the artwork in general though the Premium looked less stiking in real life than in the photos I had seen.
I honestly think as it stands this is one of Sterns weaker games of the last few years. I can see people throwing some coin in on site, but for home use I'd pass.

Sobering. I'm still in on a Pro...it replaces my AS Pro, so the bar isn't too high (i.e. I'm hopeful it will end up being more fun than AS, which was a big disappointment). The toy box was cool, but I didn't like the way any of the shots "felt". The Munters ramps wireforms look like they will feel great.

Looks like the artwork got everybody stoked, but the game is "meh". Too bad. Now that the bar is set low, I'm hopeful it will expect my expectations.

Thanks for the review.

#5590 1 year ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

Sterns? 30-45 minute games, most of the time getting 90% of modes completed.
TWD, Rarely will I get a game that long, or Dialed in...
Games like LOTR, WH2O, even IM, I really like, but know I have to put an Hour aside.
WNBJM....Quick 10-15 minute games.....A quickie, and Im satisfied.
Kinda like Sex.
Especially over 55!

IM an hour game? Did you close the outlanes entirely? Maybe you compete with Bowen/Keith/etc.

I owned the title for years and it was brutal...lucky to have a 5-10 minute game.

#5755 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

Well if we're buying into that completely unrealistic fantasy (at least where Stern is concerned), why not ask if people would like a free Stern pinball machine if it were made in China. Same amount of fantasy in both questions.
Where Stern machines are assembled (USA) has very, VERY little to do with the past 10 years of substantial price increases and simultaneous parts quality reduction to save manufacturing costs and fatten margins.
Note: This doesn't mean I haven't recommended a Munsters for the route I help with - they're bringing in a Pro and a Premium, but let's be real about the price increases and where that money is going.

I don't know where all the money is going, but they've certainly hired more designers over the years and grown the organization overall (headed by GG). They've moved into a new headquarters and expanded their manufacturing capabilities. Maybe they managed to give Borg/Ritchie/Sheets/Sullivan raises? (the folks that carried Stern R&D for years). That would be nice.

Like you, I'm bummed by Stern's cost cutting. As long as they continue to sell everything they build, I'm afraid it's not going to change much. I'm skeptical that bitching on Pinside will change anything. The place to bitch is Stern...not hard to contact GG directly and express some of your concerns.

1 week later
#6231 1 year ago
Quoted from Tranquilize:

I don't get the whole "we shouldn't worry about value" argument. Yes, these are toys and purchased for fun, but it is still a market of supply and demand, and supply is surpassing demand. If you have a collection that's worth, say, 100 grand to keep it simple, you could be losing 20 grand in value pretty quick with the current inflated market. Just because we can afford these toys doesn't mean we should just simply ignore perceived and real value. That's just rediculous. I'm interested in market value as I am now willing to wait, regardless of the license and game as I know the value on the secondary market will be consistently going down. My IMDNLE is one of ten sold in Canada (my last NIB), and I bet I'd still eat a loss on it. It's a secondary purchaser's market right now, and the discussion about it is valid, welcome and interesting.

Not sure what you "don't get". Price "venting" might be therapeutic, but it's not going to effect Stern's/JJP's/CGC's plans to pump out games. As more and more games get produced, it will be harder and harder to sell (and prices will drop). To make things worse, recently produced games break far too often (and are costly to maintain on location). If the next recession hits public pinball venues, it will be even worse for resale pinball values.

Bottom line: it's highly unlikely the pinball party will last forever, but what does? If the financial risks keep you up at night, you should consider thinning the herd

#6384 1 year ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

Dwight said that he intentionally made the rules basic and old school 90’s like. He also said that its pretty much finished except for some bugs and stuff so i wouldnt expect much more. He wanted to make a game that is easy for people to walk up to it and play. This game in my opinion will be a huge hit for non pin heads that come to your house to play pinball. Thats how AS is also, it seems to attract non pinheads because its a simple game. I think hardcore players will tire of it quickly probably because theres not enough there for them to learn about and explore. Im not that type of a player so im fine with the code that it has.

AFM (1995) and TOTAN (1996) come to mind. On ipdb, they both have the same "Average Fun Rating" of 8.2. That kind of surprised me, since AFM is considered one of the best all around "packages" and TOTAN is more known as a beauty queen with "meh" rules. I have no problem with 90's style "old school" rules, but it's clear that both AFM & TOTAN are considered 90's classics for very different reasons.

Hope to get my Munsters Pro soon. When I do, it will be interesting to see if it's the "total package" or a simply a "beauty queen" with a cool license.

#6407 1 year ago
Quoted from wesman:

Total side discussion, but why are TOTAN's rules viewed as average? I really like the flow of the gameplay and rules, and consequently never really dig the "in your face" style of really everything regarding AFM. Is a lot of that due to JPOP hate?
As far as Munsters, and any new pin, it always seems like the willingness, or lack thereof, to invest so much cash, creates an immediate reaction of do or die, so that seems to skew people's views to black or white. Understandable, but the shades of gray always get lost in such arguments.

I've owned JPop's 3 "hits" (CV/TOM/TOTAN) and have no hate for JPop! Love his "sneaky locks"

For me, TOTAN's rules were just "meh"...not enough variety (Genie bashing and "shoot for the golden symbols"). Wizard mode was easy to reach and not that interesting. Loved CV's wizard mode.

I understand some folks adore TOTAN (and I respect that), but for me, none of JPop's games were keepers. Not because they weren't cool/innovative (love the boom balloon pop up in CV, they just got boring. From a gameplay perspective, CV is my favorite JPop game.

#6433 1 year ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

It's pretty easy to boil down..
Look at a game like TWD... brutal play and complex rules as to why/when things happen. The casual to middle of the pack have no idea what is going on and the game gets a general 'meh' from a large portion of the population. But player players love it. The difference between mediocre
A game like munsters is simple and easy to get to the 'satisfying' rewards. It's pretty... the theme is relatively accessible as well. So it will be appealing to a WIDER audience than TWD was... even if TWD is a "better' game.
Point being... what defines "good" or "best" depends on what you are trying to achieve or what you value. Not everyone values the same things, or to the same degree.
It's why games like Theatre of Magic still demand a premium vs other games that are significantly "better" games in terms of rules, strategy, toys, sound, etc.
TL : DR - "Different Strokes for Different Folks"

Great post. Same is true for Beatles...a game almost universally rejected by Pinside. Great looking, simple rules, accessible theme for oldsters. Yes, more richly priced than Munsters.

There has always been a tension between pins focused on public play vs home use. Having the pendulum swing a bit is natural...I love the simplicity of Beatles because it's a challenging game when setup properly for home use. Look forward to getting Munsters...

#6438 1 year ago
Quoted from Guinnesstime:

I've been told by friends that The Beatles is a really fun pin, but you're talking a ridiculous price point for the game it is. That's different. At least Munsters is in line.
Make Beatles $5K-$6K new and it's totally different story. I know they won't, I'm just saying.

Meh. From my perspective, Beatles "Gold" is a solid Premium...especially when compared with IMDN (the game that sits beside it in my lineup). Sure, it doesn't have "ramps" (which is shocking to folks that didn't grow up loving 80's pins), but it has very solid trim (first rate armor, sweet metal apron, blades), 3 banks of drops, spinning disk, star rollover, 2 magnets, 2 opto spinners, 4 flippers, etc. It's not a "stripped down" game...!

So...if folks are paying ~7k for a Stern Premium, the "price premium" for Beatles "Gold" is ~$500 (street price difference). Not bad, considering the license and limited build plan.

#6440 1 year ago

I've been using p21s for years and love it (amazon.com link »). No residue or powder.

#6587 1 year ago
Quoted from iceman44:

At least it took you 6 hours of playing it to figure out it sucks in your opinion!
Neil is def not one of the "DB's" i was talking about. His opinion concerns me. I'm all for people giving their opinions except for the "thread bombers" that don't buy pins and have no intention of buying pins and weigh in with ignorant, smug, stupid comments non stop in EVERY thread.
I'm going to enjoy the hell out of this game, just like i did with BM66 from day one.
And I'll have faith that the code will evolve to greatness like it did with that pin.
If it doesn't, its not the end of the world.

Yep. Neil's (informed) opinion concerns me as well.

When I receive mine, I'll play it for one week and then weigh-in on what I think.

Very easy to ignore folks that haven't played it...those are the folks that should quiet down.

#6991 1 year ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

I heard stern had some issues at the factory during that very cold spell... it pushed pros back also which y i haven't gotten mine . Bc of that the le are also pushed back a bit .

I heard a pipe burst and 140 units were destroyed. Mine has also been delayed.

#7002 1 year ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

Exactly what I was thinking too

That would be pretty cheesy of Stern, considering insurance will compensate them for the damaged units.

#7137 1 year ago
Quoted from Thunderbird:

What has happened to the pinball market? Is JJP the only ones that know how to make tables with plenty of toys that interact with the ball any longer?

JJP has had a tough time turning a profit. Angel investors have kept it afloat...this won't last forever. JJP needs WW to be a "hit". It appears Pirates was a flop.

Pinball manufacturing has had a tough time modernizing. If you scale up (as Stern has done) and want to turn a profit, you either have save money building the games and/or put less in them. Building the games is still very resource intensive. If it weren't, I imagine Stern could justify beefing up the BOM. The other option is for Stern to cut profit margins. I have no inside info on what Stern's margins are, but I would guess they are 20-25%.

I'm sure Stern executives admire some of JJP's work, but I'm also sure they don't consider them real competition. Competing needs to include profits.

#7146 1 year ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

How many bad Borg tables are there in your opinion? Also you do realize that there is only so much that a designer can do on a pinball playfield due to the limited area that he has to work with right? I dont know what people expect honestly. Every game that comes out people are like....yep more of the same, 2 ramps, 2 orbits, yada yada yada. Well thats kind of all a designer can do honestly, thats just what pinball is lol. Theres not much real estate to work with on a pinball playfield.

Please. Has nothing to do with "real estate" on a PF. It has to do with time-to-market, risk taking, and inspiration. Two of the most innovative recent designs are Dialed In and Iron Maiden. Pat Lawlor had a long "rest" and was inspired to do great work (and JJP gave him the time & resources). Keith, OTOH, designed IMDN outside Stern with no constraints. Stern took the design and did a mediocre job producing it. Nevertheless, the layout is truly new/fresh.

Is Borg burnt out? Don't know, but he has produced many great games. My personal favorite is TRON (by far). IM, Metallica and KISS are also great Borg creations, though none of them innovate much in the layout department.

#7150 1 year ago
Quoted from pinmister:

Sometimes I think Stern puts unrealistic timelines on certain titles for their designers.

And the Pro/Premium mechanical and gameplay differences add to the complexity.

Time-to-market constraints are also related to the mechanisms. The Star Wars hyperdrive is the only really innovative mechanism Stern has developed in years. No innovative mechs on Munsters in particular. The "meh" factor isn't just with the layout.

Nevertheless, I'm in on Munsters Pro because I grew up with the show and the art package is first-class. The ramps also look like a blast. If the rules are boring, then it won't last and I'll likely have no problem moving it with minimal financial downside.

#7152 1 year ago
Quoted from Thunderbird:

Would agree Dialed In is by far the best game to come out in this century. Maybe top of all time. History will prove this out like it did for great Williams tables. 20 years down the road and Dialed In will be highly sought after.

Yep. My ONLY criticism of DI is the audio for the modes is really lame. Examples: When the acid rain cloud appears, no crazy rain sounds/effects. When the saucers are firing downward, no explosions. When the volcano is erupting, almost no audible sounds.

Since the modes are such a focal point, it would be so much more exciting if they used that great audio system more effectively. At the moment, the game is very monotone. This is obviously something that can easily be corrected...I just don't know if JJP agrees with my observation/feedback.

#7175 1 year ago
Quoted from Aurich:

But ... at the end of the day there's one metric that really counts. If you buy the game you voted with your wallet. That's worth 6000 shitty comments when it comes to putting a thumb on the scale.

True, but I think feedback/comments are more meaningful from folks voting with their wallet. Complaining about a machine you've never owned (or played) is less meaningful than someone living through the NIB ownership experience. Artwork is an obvious exception...easy to have an opinion about artwork without ever owning the game.

Example: I bought an NIB AS Pro and the right flipper was super wonky out of the box (game wasn't playable). Tried to fix the flipper however the silly pegs made it really hard to do. After that, I emailed Stern luminaries one last time pleading for abolishing the pegs (since I had to order the rails from PinballLife so I could fix the wonky flipper). Fortunately, all of our pleas over the years led to Stern finally abolishing the pegs. Yippee.

#7242 1 year ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

What happened to just enjoying pinball and having fun just playing ? To many people are focused on current code, future code and how it will.end up. I get this to a point bc of the cost of these toys but if you love the layout, toys theme , art and lighting then I'm sure u will enjoy this pin overall. If you don't then you sld be able to sell it with out taking to big of hit ... what other toy or hobbie is that forgiving.... ?none that i know of and you get to enjoy pinball in the meantime.

Great point about resale values...try reselling furniture! Painful depreciation.

I think stressing out about code completeness is unfortunately a side-effect of the "new normal" where time-to-market has become king. Many of us can remember the good old days of LOTR/TSPP...Stern games that shipped with very complete code (I'm sure there are others during that time period).

My Munsters Pro ships out tomorrow If the code/updates don't work for me, someone will get a NOB at a nice price...it's all good.

18
#7287 1 year ago
Quoted from pinball-freddy:

The Munsters with green Convolux by Freddy's Pinball Paradise
15tlg. Set of blue fluorescent protector plastics for The Munsters.
http://www.shop.freddys-pinball-paradise.de/index.php?f=3&q=convolux%206706&lang=e&lnge=1[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Over 20 photos of this mod? Meh. 3 (max) would have sufficed.

#7566 1 year ago
Quoted from Butch2099:

So LE is 9G and only the legs are powder-coated?
AC DC premiums have powder coating. Why not Munsters LE?

Not sure what AC/DC has to do with it, but it's the first-time Stern has released a game with powder-coated legs without matching armor. Really odd. From my perspective, the legs and armor should match. Stern really up'd their game with art/artists...don't know why they would make this decision (other than saving a few bucks).

#7642 1 year ago
Quoted from wtatumjr:

Howdy! I've been away for a few years from this forum but 'just played Beatles and Munsters Pro yesterday. Munsters just blew me away - best machine I've played in quite a while/. I'll be adding a Pro (I don't like mini playfields) this fall when I have room - have to sell WOZECLE first. Anyone old enough to be a Munster fan should give this a try.

Welcome back (and glad you like Munsters). I just unboxed mine a couple days ago...game shoots nice/smooth, but I'm still trying to "warm up" to the rule set. Seems shallow, yet confusing (not a great combo). Speaking of combos, wish there were more of them in Munsters (but maybe I just don't have enough time on it).

#7654 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

When’s the party!?

Unfortunately, the pinball party is in Florida. I'll be back in LA soon and we can have a party

It's interesting, just had 3 serious players over and they really liked The Beatles gameplay (not Beatles fans per se). The jury was out on Munsters...it actually rebooted once...unclear if it was a hardware or software related. Everyone loved the Munsters artwork and ramps, but the software/rules are hard to love at the moment. Classic problem that we've all experienced far too often.

#7676 1 year ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

Having now played Munsters, to love this game you gotta love the theme.
There just wasn't a wow factor playing the game - nothing really new or innovative.
The ramps are some of the best ever though - super satisfying to hit.
Some games are so good that theme doesn't matter in the end. This is the other side of the coin.

I agree. I like the theme, but not enough to keep it in my collection.

The good: Great ramps, smooth shooting, beautiful art.
The bad: The clanging Herman toy/mech is pathetic (barely moves). The massive LILY/DRAGULA targets are lame. The rules are really, really shallow and uninspiring.

Mine arrived on 2/21 and I've already decided to sell it to an operator (who already has 3 on route). First time I've moved a game after having it only one week. Just don't have the patience for half-baked rules/software.

I think it works as route game...for home use, it's just too boring (Munster Madness is way too easy to achieve). I prefer games that challenge me. TRON isn't a particularly deep game, but achieving PORTAL isn't easy.

#7680 1 year ago
Quoted from Durzel:

Can I ask a question.. I'm fascinated as to the thought process that went into buying it....
Was it a case that you were going to buy it come what may because it was the new hotness, and not read any reviews in advance or watch Lets Plays, etc? Your views on the game seem like stuff that would easily have been discovered just by watching someone review it, or an extended play video.
I'm curious to know what it was that you were actually expecting, if not what has been demonstrated clearly in reviews and videos, etc.

Sure, happy to provide more insight/detail....

I grew up with the Munsters show and thought the artwork was stunning. Those were known.

The "unknown" was gameplay, and I believe that software/rules need to be experienced. Watching others play the game isn't the same.
Because of the license/artwork, I placed my order after the reveal but before much was known about gameplay.

Lastly, I sold my AS Pro (a Borg/fan layout with good, but basic rules) and thought Munsters would be better. For me, AS is more challenging. I had no idea that Munsters was going to be so easy/basic. Don't get me wrong, Stern games over the years have gotten increasing brutal (SW is a great example). Dialing down the difficulty for location play is a good move. Not every release needs to have brutal gameplay/rules!

Unfortunately, it's difficult to make a game that works on location AND the home. I think JJP's Dialed In is a wonderful example that straddles the 2...approachable for a novice, yet deep/interesting for home use.

#7683 1 year ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Munsters may seem simple code wise at first glance but its actually really good and thought out with lots of little things going on. But yea if u look at the madness mode as the depth then yea it seems shallowish. This is not the case however and if you give it some time there is a lot going on. Also the code has tons of lighting effects,sounds, callouts, video content and much more there then many other newer pins. Its actually pretty dam brilliant and will only get better.

If lighting all 6 modes isn't the right yardstick, what is? I'm curious what you find fun/compelling about the ruleset.

#7686 1 year ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Did u watch the deadflip stream from the stern factory? If not u sld ... its about lining everything up for a huge payoff basically...which is super hard to do . You have stacking of superjackpots,multipliers. Zaps, boosted characters and stacking characters together to increase everything. There's more but thats the basis of things.

I casually watched the video when it was released. I guess I can watch it again to see what I'm missing.

I guess I prefer games with 2 stage modes...easy to light, but difficult to finish. For IMDN, you collect "soul shards" when you finish a mode. In LOTR, you get "gifts". In TRON, you can't progress to Portal without completing the modes. In Beatles, lighting a song is easy...completing a song is more difficult (need to get to "level 5"). All of these achievements are pretty explicit in the respective games (true for Aerosmith as well, come to think of it).

The stuff you are talking about seems more subtle...not necessarily bad, just an observation. The other thing I love is "combos", which seem under utilized in Munsters. Just to be clear, these are early observations/impressions...I'm far from an expert after 30 games or so!

#7692 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Pretty much every 90's game figured it out.

Meh. TOTAN, CC, TOM are all highly rated games (that I've owned) that got boring fast.

#7693 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Here's the thing, anyone can walk up to lets say LOTR, a "complex deep game"...and generally understand the basics....and then as they play, they naturally learn more and more and more, as it's based on what they hit and what happens. Action/reaction. You're ONLY going to know what the button & all the weird scoring stuff is if someone explains it to you....and then, even if you understand it...is it fun? Subjective, of course...but those type of rules don't bring me into the game or the theme. It's very specific "score nerd" stuff.

Exactly. I shouldn't have to "study" Dwight's video to "learn" the subtleties of the game. Pinball is a "language of lights", which is about communication. That's one of the things that makes LOTR brilliant...you always know what to do and (as a result) feel gratified when you achieve certain objectives. When my heavy hitter friends were playing Munsters this weekend, we were fairly clueless about what each of us were doing to result in points. As a result, you just take pride in lighting the modes (which is easy). Important to note that they are pretty accomplished tournament players (i.e. scoring/rule "nerds"). I guess they need to watch Dwight's video

#7696 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

So I guess the West Coast party is off? lol

The game is in Florida, and it doesn't fit in my luggage

#7702 1 year ago
Quoted from Guinnesstime:

I'm not saying I disagree, but counterpoint to this The Simpsons. That's one of the most complex rulesets ever, yet I have no idea what the hell I'm doing, really aside from basic modes, multi balls and hurry ups (because they're so incessant). Lots to have to read up on.
I want a GOT, but Dwight's "Ghostbuster-eque" rules worry me.

I don't recall mentioning TSPP...only LOTR. I owned TSPP for awhile but don't recall being confused by the rules. Interesting that both Keith Johnson and Dwight Sullivan worked on both of them. I always thought they were done by Keith alone...

#7710 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I love D'oh Frenzy...and it's a really funny use of the Homer head toy...which is really just the head ripped off of a Homer doll, but it's really funny that he flashes & reacts to every "D'oh". Is the Herman toy choreographed with his tantrum voice-over at all?

Not that I recall, and the look/movement of Herman is really less-than-great.

#7729 1 year ago
Quoted from Tranquilize:

Please note that I'm still trying to get into this machine. I want it to be good, but Munsters' issue is that it almost solely about score. There has to be some sort of journey to go along with score, and the journey in this machine simply stinks like rotten fish. Get rid of the theme and you have a game that wants you to crank up jackpots and multiplyers to achieve numbers. Do you want adventure? Well, there's a clunky bash toy, a ramp bash that stops flow and freebie targets on the side.
Adventure outweighs scoring by a lot in my books, and the top 100 list reflects this as well. I have more fun on every single system 11 ever made. All this being said, I'm going to plug my local Munsters some more, but I feel it will be like ghostbusters, the other dysfunctional stepchild: there will be no love

Well said. It's kind of funny that some folks thought the clanging bash toy was a bug/malfunction First time I've moved a game days after taking delivery. Just don't have the patience for the NIB "quality issues" along with hoping the code will blossom. Had some folks over to unveil Munsters and the guests were digging Beatles and IMDN much more than Munsters. A game needs to do more than shoot smooth and look great to excite people.

Quoted from Rarehero:

I think that says it all and shows two different types of pinball players. I play for fun, not strategy. As a tournament guy, Bowen is looking for strategy, not fun. I prefer fun.

Plenty of games achieve both.

#7746 1 year ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

But Borg promised this was his best game ever

Contrary to Pinside lore, I don't "blame" individuals.

I believe the problem is Stern's time-to-market. While we love seeing Stern ship 3 games per year, it's tough to do with any consistency and artistic integrity. I worked in tech for 25 years. If a product wasn't ready, we'd delay the release (period). Pixar allocates 3 years to do a movie (minimum).

While some folks detest the perceived "cash grab" for Beatles Platinum/Diamond, the real "cash grab" is unfinished code and half-baked mechs. KISS had "good bones" but took 3 years to complete the code! Glad I was patient...the latest code drop is a big improvement. IMDN Premium took me a solid month to fully dial-in (ORBs, posts, shooter, sarcophagus). There are many other examples.

#7749 1 year ago
Quoted from BMore-Pinball:

So KISS is a good machine now? It's been off my radar for so long I forgot about it

Correct. It's the total package now...software is much more polished & fun (great combos, improved scoring).

#7751 1 year ago
Quoted from Guinnesstime:

I've had MET Premium, KISS LE, Maiden Pro and now AC/DC Luci.
Of them all, I'd rank them...
AC/DC
Metallica
Maiden
Kiss
I wanted to throw AC/DC off a cliff day 1, but then I realized I was just "spoiled" with Maiden. AC/DC is tough and just so much fun. Makes you a better player.
Maiden is a super forgiving shooter. Every game was a good length and I'd get pretty far, but all games started to be the same. If you like shooting loops, Maiden is the best. Code is excellent for it as well.
Met is a notch above. There's a lot more ways to attack the machine, then for CIU modes, you have to play the way the machine tells you. (Still there is a lot of bashing to get to CIU modes).
Kiss. Ah, I love Kiss the band. Have my tix for this summer. The game shoots ok (Aerosmith copy) but there are some things that bug me. The scoop is WAY too tight (cliffy makes it worse too). The Demon lock sucks when it malfunctions. Just a big pain which for me would work sometimes and sometimes wouldn't. Overall, I don't think Kiss is all that interesting to play though. It's cool that wizard modes are all achievable with the new code. I reached them all several times. Maybe that's when it really lost its appeal. The new code REALLY made it easier for me and I didn't necessarily want that.

I own all these games as well and largely agree with your ranking/appraisal.

I think KISS shoots *way better* than AS (which I sold fairly recently). I took the cliffy off the scoop...plays much better (in a home environment, the damage to the scoop is minimal). My Demon lock works 100%. The levitating ball works 70% of the time.

AC/DC is a classic...the "song jackpot" is just awesome. Not really a fan of the lower PF...I work around them by avoiding the hell songs

#7762 1 year ago
Quoted from Jaketime81:

Super pumped, I recived my first new in box machine today a Munsters Pro! I noticed a flaw in the clear coat on the sides and bottom of the munster madness insert. It looks like the insert sank down and during the clear coating process or something, and has a ugly ripple effect and bump in the clear. It is visually noticable while shinning a light on it or looking at it with a light reflection, as seen in the photo. I can also feel the bumps while rubbing my finger over it. It does not seem like it affects the ball rolling over it durring game play but I only have about 20 games on it. Im not sure if this is normal or if I am just being to picky and should not worry about it. I have it set up at my shop under giant strips of tube lights, once I take it home it will be in a darker environment. What do you guys think?[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

The "new normal"...highly unlikely Stern will exchange. If you can "feel the bumps", you'd think it would affect the ball path (ever so slightly). Mylar can also have minor impact on ball travel, and I'd imagine the bumps aren't as noticeable.

I'd push your distributor to push Stern for a populated PF swap (i.e. a PF with all the mechs installed). Maybe the success of Munsters will help motivate Stern to "do the right thing" for you.

#7766 1 year ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

I dont think this is the new normal and Stern has always replaced defective playfields as far as i know. Im sure there will be one or two people chime in and say they didnt replace theirs but they have in fact replaced many many defective playfields and they stand behind their games very well.

I've been a Stern NIB customers since 2004 and I disagree with you. Stern does stand behind their games, however on "aesthetic" issues, it's always subjective.

Here is a post I made regarding my IMDN PF: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/iron-maiden-issues/page/10#post-4450797

Hard to know if my IMDN PF is comparable with the case above, but Stern did nothing (and both my distributor and I have great relationships with Stern).

These are hand-built games and not every example is going to be aesthetically perfect. If the issue effects gameplay, I am certain Stern will take care of the issue.

#7768 1 year ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

I can see where Stern wouldn't replace your Iron Maiden playfield as it appears to be planking which occurs on a lot of games. The issue posted here with the bubbles around the Munster Madness insert is unacceptable and hopefully Stern sends a full populated playfield to the buyer or exchanges the game.

It's actually not planking, since the clear is 100% in tact and smooth. My IMDN is simply a poorly sanded PF (the new normal). Not trying to argue, but planking is more serious defect (and more common on older games). I have a gorgeous TZ that has some minor planking (which was very common for that title).

I hope you are correct and Stern takes care of the game above!

#7770 1 year ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

My MET is like that also. I dont like it but you really dont notice it either unless you're in perfect lighting conditions. I dont necessarily think (in my case at least) it warrants a new playfield but its definitely a problem that they should address. The bubbles on the munsters game isnt acceptable though. No way a company can be 100% perfect when you ship out as many games as they do. I believe they will take care of him with the issue he has.
You gotta realize that they get tons of calls for playfield replacements from people who are being way too picky. They tell them no and that person blast it all over pinside that Stern gave them a bad playfield and wont make it right when they were just being to picky in the first place.

I agree...that's why I didn't push too hard on my IMDN. From the players perspective, it looks fine. Other Pinsiders thought I should have pushed harder, but I consulted with my distributor and he said the wood grain was on his personal machine as well.

The only PF swap that I've ever had to do is for AC/DC Premium...I had one of the early "cloudy" windows and several other aesthetic issues with the PF. Stern and my distributor swapped it out.

Quoted from Squizz:

I wouldn't accept this if it was on my LE when it arrives.
I would ask for an exchange.
operators wouldn't give too hoots about this, but as a home owner I do.

Wouldn't it be great if Stern "marked" the less-than-perfect PF's and tried to make sure operators got them? As you say, they wouldn't care about minor imperfections. Collectors get more freaked out by aesthetic imperfections...

#7786 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

I never said people who love it are dumb, don't put words in my mouth.
People who are into the jackpot and multiplier-stacking focus will love it. People who like to bat the ball around will really like it, too. But if you're into mode-based play with varied objectives and tightly theme-integrated gameplay you likely be disappointed over time.

Exactly...and for me it took roughly 20-30 plays to be disappointed (then my CPU board apparently crapped out, but that's another story).

Jackpots and multipliers are goodness, but they aren't a substitute for more challenging modes/objectives. Achieving MonsterMadness roughly every game is a less-than-great side-effect of the sparse rules/objectives. If the game is so easy that "no default ball save" is a highlighted feature, you know somethings amiss. It's like they realized the game was too easy and said hey, let's remove the ball save to make it more challenging.

Quoted from JayLar:

It's not about hating, it's about making valid points on what may need improvement so that everyone, including you, can appreciate the game long term. If the code is on the shallow side - which a lot of reviewers are reporting - then it should be pointed out so that Stern feel it needs to be fixed. That's a good thing, actually caring rather than hating. The game looks awesome but a lot of people, including myself, are on the fence due to the code and the fact that Stern has been reluctent to improve the code on other titles.

Exactly...especially true for Munsters owners and long-time Stern supporters (like me), who want the game to be great. My hope is I will get a new CPU board so I can boot the game on Monday and a software update to spice up the modes. If all of us kept our mouths shut, I know nothing would improve.

#7791 1 year ago
Quoted from DerGoetz:

And then you read CPRs report on grading.
Stern take pride in their business earnings, not their playfields.

I have CPR PF's in my Fathom/Centaur...they do great work. Unfortunately, they take forever. I signed up for a Paragon PF more than 4 years ago and it's still under development (with almost no updates along the way).

Considering how many games Stern produces, they do a great job. Since the # of PF providers is likely very small, it's unclear if there is much competition for this aspect of game. It would be really interesting to know how many PF's Stern rejects. If the % is very low, then they should be more discriminating. If they are already rejecting 5-10% and need the slightly flawed PF's to ship games, it becomes a business decision. Try buying a new home...it will come with many flaws

#7795 1 year ago
Quoted from thirdedition:

The secret here is CPR and Micro can't do it. That is why they have different tiers of playfields. They don't produce the number of playfields that Stern does on any level.
Having to produce greater volumes is the hardest part in all of this. Everything is a function of cost vs profit.
Most love it when Stern can churn out games so quickly, this is the byproduct. Some of the games coming out aren't going to be 100%. Is it acceptable? That is up to the buyers to decide, but so far people are still buying them so it seems most don't care.

Exactly. Spot on...and it's not just PF's.

My Munsters Pro stopped booting after 50 plays! Before it stopped, the game was behaving strangely. Hopefully a new CPU will arrive Monday and I will be back in business. NIB has become a crap shoot. It's not acceptable, however there aren't many other choices (which is why Stern gets away with it). I use to get really upset, but now I just so with the flow. Fortunately, Stern support is responsive (as they should be). If they weren't, I would have "walked away" years ago.

#7861 1 year ago
Quoted from john17a:

This is about 2 weeks old
I was actually looking forward to it
[quoted image]

2 weeks old in a free-play arcade or 2 weeks old in a home environment?

-1
#7881 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

CPR laid it out pretty clearly in the other thread, detailing wood type and construction on the PF blanks and why their playfields are harder relative to newer Sterns. Stern has chosen to save $12 and assumes people will buy their BS about it always being this way.
Edit: Here's the post - https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/cpr-playfield-preorders-are-meaningless/page/2#post-4863477
Valuable read for anyone drinking the kool-aid that playfield hardness hasn't been costed down by Stern.

Thanks you for the reference! I've always believed this was the case. Great to hear confirmation from CPR directly.

The kool-aid crowd either refuses to acknowledge the problem at all or blames the clear coat chemicals. The key contributor is the wood...duh.

Man, I can excuse saving the money for Pro's, however Stern should splurge for the harder woods on the Premium/LE products!

#7884 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

Exactly. If Stern wants to cut costs on the Pro, I understand - it's the cheapest option out there. But for the Prem, and ESPECIALLY the LEs, they should have the "usual" hard playfields, and $12 cost is not too much to spend on a $9000 retail machine to ensure a great customer experience.

And let's face it, if Stern did this, I bet it would result in more profits for them. The Premium/LE's are the higher margin pins and folks bothered by premature dimpling (which there are many, apparently) would have yet another reason to pay up for the Premium/LE.

-2
#7919 1 year ago
Quoted from Colsond3:

So people shelling out only 5 or 6K for a game should get a shitty product? I don’t think I like or agree with that rationale. All of their playfields should be better quality, no matter what model it is.

Hmm...it's precisely the product you are currently buying!

#7925 1 year ago
Quoted from herbertbsharp:

Claiming it is the densest doesn't mean it is. It doesn't mean Stern's is inferior, it doesn't provide results of testing. They provided no numbers other than thickness measurements. Thickness does not equal density or hardness. I understand the anger in the thread was about preorders, that was part of my point. My main point is: people are bitching about Stern saving $12 per playfield when the premise is based on speculation from someone who has not tested Stern's playfields, and has little to no knowledge of what actually happens @ Stern.

Great points. Independent density testing of a CPR/Stern PF is the only way to definitively get to the "truth".

Even though most of us are clueless about what actually happens @ Stern, it's clear to many of us (who have been buying their products for decades) that Stern is tenacious about taking cost out of the machine. At the same time, build quality has declined and the boards are less reliable. For example, I received my Munsters Pro on 2/21 and it's still unplayable (node boards can't be found). A new CPU board is apparently in the mail. I realize "shit happens", but I've been buying NIB Sterns for over 15 years and the # of issues I've had to deal with has gone up steadily since my KISS Premium purchase (roughly coincident with the SPIKE transition).

So...the CPR post that vireland shared resonated with some of us (who have anecdotal evidence that PF's are less durable than they use to be).

All of us love pinball and respect Stern. We all want to see Stern thrive.

3 weeks later
#8122 1 year ago
Quoted from Jaketime81:

So its been a few weeks, but Stern stepped up and is sending an advanced replacement Play-field, with paid return shipping! after I told my distributor, stern had a lightning quick response! At first they were not sending it in advance, but with a little push back from my distributor, stern stepped up! Shout out to Colorado Game Exchange!
I do have the machine on location at my local sandwich shop, but its the only newer game I own so I definitely want to keep it in perfect playing shape!

Great news! Glad you were taken care of...

1 week later
#8157 1 year ago
Quoted from jfh:

If buyers keep settling for “good enough” why should Stern change? It’s too late for the hardware. Maybe they have met their forecasted sales targets and don’t care. But if all Stern hears is “Munsters is the greatest game ever” there’s no need for them to beef up the code. There is absolutely no reason why Munsters can’t be more approachable for casual players as Dwight wanted (as it is) and be deeper for better players or home buyers.
Not every game Stern makes is great. Some are. Munsters should have been great. It still can be and I’m hoping that it will. But I’m realistic enough to know that’s more unlikely than not. And with the number of games for sale so soon in the lifecycle it looks like others agree. Every secondary market sale is one less potential sale for a distributor and one less game off the assembly line which doesn’t do anything for Stern.

Couldn't agree more. I have no problem with simpler rule sets...I just want them to be fun, challenging, & rewarding. The Beatles is a simpler, 80's inspired game and I love it. Does it compete with Stern classics like LOTR, TRON, or AC/DC? Probably not...but it's faithful to the 80's design point with some nice modern touches.

For me, Munsters is just mediocre (and I'm a Borg fan). The Herman toy (clang, clang)...the massive/ugly Dragula target...the clunky shooter lane (which I realize could be dialed-in, but mine wasn't). The game shoots nice enough, but it lacks challenging shots. I think it's a game that makes sense for arcades, but isn't inspiring for home use. It was painful, but I sold mine for under 5k because I knew the game isn't for me.

1 month later
#8180 1 year ago
Quoted from drfrightner:

I hate to say this but I got trashed on this forum for bringing up many of these points. I also got trashed for shedding a reality on Black Knight. I have a friend who just bought a Munsters LE for $6500.00 with only like 50 plays. People hate this game that much they're willing to lose that kind of money? I think most people bought Munsters LE sight unseen... they just knew they wanted that theme. I bought a Munsters LE sight unseen... so is it really only worth $6500 now? I see people here locally already trying to dump their Munsters Pro for only $4600... I'm like already?
The same will happen with Black Knight another very basic nothing new game but I see those LE being sold for even less than $6500.00. Beatles price was super low at MGC, brand new in the box. I guess they're learning outside of a handful of people where money is no object not many people want to pay $8000 for a $5000 game. There is nothing that original about Munsters, Black Knight and for god sakes Beatles is a direct copy of a 30 year old game.
I think what has happened, and this is just an observation there isn't much left you can do with a pinball game, before you play it and go "OH WAIT ISN'T THIS REALLY A RETREAD of another game'?
What else can be done?
Stern is the worst honestly, the only time you really see good on screen assets is when they're hand delivered on a silver platter (Iron Maiden, Batman 66).
I think pinball will need to take a new direction, and start to incorporate new idea's, and stop relying on people who've already designed 30 games. They need new eyeballs, new idea's, just a younger group of people to create pinball 5.0 or whatever you want to call it. Pinball needs to bring back video modes, introduce wifi, online gaming, and most importantly new features during game play that haven't yet been done.
Stern has become such a well oiled machine they're not even trying to think outside the box. Why should they really? If no other company puts the screws to them and people keep buying games SIGHT UNSEEN, only after the fact they don't find the game that much fun... STERN keeps winning.
I thought it was odd that Stern made this behind the scenes video of Munsters creation, that made me think oh wait this game isn't selling so lets drum up some interest. Nice video btw.
I think Stern should seriously consider making only 2 to 3 new games a year, put more RD into the games, look for new designers, put more work into the games, consider doing a wide body, adding new features... in other words slow down the process and work harder to make things seem original.
Just because you change the artwork on the playfield doesn't mean Beatles isn't Seawitch or Batman Dark Knight is Batman 66, or Munsters seems just like 2 or 3 other games we already have in our collection. Lastly, and to my main point, almost every Stern game releases where they must update the code in some cases 20 times. Jersey Jack comes out with code from the box that no one can even beat... why not just slow down here, take the time to release the game DONE the first time, rather than a process of seeing just how fast you can release a new game.
Just my observation. As buyers I think we need to stop getting suckered on LE games, and just have some patience to decide do we actually think the game is worth $9000.00. I think in most cases if you use patiences you'll realize later that if you really want the very weak Black Knight LE, you'll get one for about $6500 or less in about oh I don't know 4 months. Its worth waiting to save the money. The totally nothing original very basic Black Knight doesn't even deserve an LE if you ask me. That game should be Sterns $4500 line a price point they don't have currently but should consider.
On the flip side, if you're still waiting to buy a Pirates from JJP, well keep waiting because no one is selling. Pirates despite its flaws took at least two years to make, and those games in some cases are selling for MORE than they paid, while Munsters LE just sold for a $2500 loss.
Stern should SLOW DOWN get it right out of the box!
Again just my opinion. In the future I'm not buying anymore Stern games, unless I see them and play them first because Munsters at 9k don't love it, and now knowing its only worth $6500 three months after buying is not making me feel all warm inside.
With these types of nose dives on values of games so shortly after buying them, will change the market drastically for the games.
I'm not in LOVE with Wonka, I don't think its nearly as creative as WOZ, but at the same time name 5 pinball games ever created with as much cool things happening? There just isn't 5 games you can name with more cool things happening under the glass... oh wait you kind of can the four other games made by JJP, or just a small handful of older Williams Bally games. I'm not saying JJP is better than Stern, merely pointing out that when people buy an LE from JJP they don't rush out to flip it 3 months later. If you're going to sell a 9k version an amount of money, that can buy a BRAND NEW car, then you should be totally sold on buying that game to keep it.
Maybe Stern feels adding new features, doing something they haven't done before creates risks, but I'm okay with that take the risks and do something spectacular. Just my opinion.
As for my Munsters game, I will keep the game because selling it for $2500 loss is not an option. Just in the future I will not rush to buy an LE because of the theme, I will wait play the game, or maybe just wait for another person to take that plunge only to hit the bottom of the pool after a few weeks of ownership and buy then. Maybe.

You make some interesting points, but when I read that "Beatles is Seawitch", it became clear that some of your thinking is pretty superficial. TRON layout has glaring similarities with Funhouse, but plays nothing like it (and is one of Stern's best). Same for Beatles...plays nothing like Seawitch.

Borrowing from the past isn't necessarily bad. Steve Jobs admired Picasso's "Good artists copy; Great artists steal" quote. Lots of "art" pays homage to the past. Since Stern made a bold decision for Beatles to be "retro", they decided to pay homage to Seawitch. The theme integration, audio, callouts, rules and other PF additions have little to do with Seawitch.

Your comment that "Stern should SLOW DOWN get it right out of the box!" is spot-on.

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